BLACK-EYED SUSAN
File Size: 90 KB
 
Rudbeckia hirta  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Biennial or short-lived perennial
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect, 1 to several, usually branched, coarsely spreading-hairy.
Leaves: Variable, alternate, simple, stalked below to sessile above, oblanceolate to elliptic, to 6 inches long, 1/2 to 2 inches wide, coarsely hairy; margins entire or shallow-toothed; tips mostly blunt; upper leaves lance-linear to oblong, reduced; tips pointed.
Inflorescences: Heads, solitary, terminal, on long stalks, hemispheric to egg-shaped, 2 to 3 inches wide; bracts sometimes prominently elongate, stiff-hairy.
Flowers: Ray florets 8-21, 1 to 1.5 inch long, orange-yellow; disk florets dark purplish brown.
Fruits: Achenes, 4-angled, glabrous, black, without bristles or scales at tips, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Disturbed prairies, waste ground and roadsides.
Distribution: Principally east 1/2, sporadically in west of Kansas.
Toxicity: Rudbeckia species are thought to be poisonous to livestock.
Comments: Black-eyed Susan is a weedy forb, but vigorous stands of native grass limit its spread.

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